640 South State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
21 West Clarke AvenueMilford, Delaware 19963
401 North Carter RoadSmyrna, DE 19977
640 S. State StreetDover DE 1990121 West Clarke AvenueMilford DE 19963
301 Jefferson AveMilford, DE 19963
1275 S. State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
Contact dermatitis is a reaction that occurs after your skin comes in contact with certain substances.
Skin irritants cause most contact dermatitis reactions. Other cases are caused by allergens, which trigger an allergic response. The reaction may not start until several days after exposure. Contact dermatitis, caused by an irritant that is not an allergic response, occurs from direct contact with the irritant.
Allergic contact dermatitis most commonly affects adults, but it can affect people of all ages.
Some of the most common causes of contact dermatitis include:
Plants, metals, cosmetics, and medications may also cause a contact dermatitis reaction:
Poison ivy is part of a plant family that includes poison oak and sumac. It is the most common cause of a contact dermatitis reaction.
Nearly 3,000 chemical agents can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Nickel, chrome, and mercury are the most common metals that cause contact dermatitis:
Many types of cosmetics can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Permanent hair dyes that contain paraphenylenediamine are the most frequent causes. Other products that may cause problems include dyes used in clothing, perfumes, eye shadow, nail polish, lipstick, and some sunscreens.
Neomycin, which is found in antibiotic creams, is the most common cause of medication contact dermatitis. Penicillin, sulfa medications, and local anesthetics, such as Novocaine or paraben, are other possible causes.
The following are the most common symptoms of contact dermatitis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The most severe reaction is at the contact site. The symptoms of contact dermatitis may look like other skin conditions. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually based on a medical history and physical exam.
Specific treatment for contact dermatitis will be determined by your health care provider based on:
The best treatment is to identify and avoid the substances that may have caused the allergic reaction. The following are common treatment recommendations for mild to moderate reactions:
If the reaction is significant and the substance that caused it can't be determined, your health care provider may do a series of patch tests to help identify the irritant.
The only way to prevent contact dermatitis is to avoid contact with the irritant or allergen that causes it.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.